hippocratic oath

Teachers, parents and makers of media products (which specifically target children) should take one of those.

This is the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take, re-written to accommodate three of the key players in a child’s life. The bold shows where the original word has been replaced with the name of each key player.

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

  • I will respect the hard-won [scientific] gains of parents (teachers, media makers) in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
  • I will apply, for the benefit of the innocent, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
  • I will remember that there is art to parenthood (teaching, media creating) and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh any other radical or invasive methods. 
  • I will not be ashamed to say “I know not”, nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for the good upbringing of [my] children.
  • I will respect the privacy of [my] children, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know.
  • Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks.
  • Above all, I must not play at God.
  • I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but I educate a young person, whose learning achievements may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related effects, if I am to care adequately for the young.
  • I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
  • I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
  • If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of bringing up/educating children.

…another one for me [other adults], and not for [my] kids.

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